Arts and Entertainment David Neilson and Julie Hesmondhalgh in Monday's episode

Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh was only meant to work on Coronation Street for two months. Her character was intended as little more than a gimmick to help the Manchester-based soap opera compete in the ratings battle with then-dominant EastEnders. Fifteen years later, her character’s story has finally come to a close, and with it, one of soap’s most enduring and touching romances: that of oddball Roy and his kind-hearted wife, Hayley.

Leading article: Prize fighters

One of Alastair Campbell's most celebrated – and sensible – pieces of advice to Tony Blair was that "we don't do God". The perils of "doing God" were on full display yesterday, after the announcement that Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, former President of the Royal Society and Master of Trinity College Cambridge, was this year's winner of the Templeton Prize. This award – which was once for "progress in religion", but has since broadened its remit – routinely raises passions, a phenomenon probably not unrelated to its £1m value. Even so, this year's outpouring of vitriol was unusual.

US court blocks atheist 'God' case

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear an atheist's latest challenge to the government's references to God.

Johann Hari: Get bishops out of our law-making

Is Nick Clegg even going to abandon his atheism, and give the forces of organised religion yet more power over us?

Business Diary: Shares set for a Superbowl surge?

Good news for those with cash on Wall Street: this year's Superbowl match-up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers is set to herald soaring share prices. According to market researcher Capital IQ, when the Steelers are in the big game the S&P 500 index surges by an average of 25.2 per cent for the calendar year, and by an average of 24.2 per cent when the Packers are in. Numbers like that should help mollify all those Wall Streeters crying over the demise of their beloved New York Jets.

Dare To Stand Alone: The Story of Charles Bradlaugh, By Bryan Niblett

How miserably we acknowledge some people. Charles Bradlaugh, pelted with insults, facing imprisonment and bankruptcy and his life shortened, ultimately defeated the Anglican hierarchy and the Conservative party at its late-Victorian nastiest. Elected Liberal MP in 1880, he took his seat in 1885. He then proved an exemplary member, adding the India Office to his enemies as he asserted the rights of the actual Indians before dying exhausted in 1891 at 57. Much of our modern mindset is Bradlaugh's creation.

The Potting Shed, Finborough Theatre, London

Greene rarity raises the spirits

My name is Peter and I'm a believer

George Carey may be telling Christians not to be ashamed, but devout Catholic Peter Stanford always worried that if he went public, he'd come across as a nutter. Now, he believes, it's time to lose his inhibitions

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Blair-Hitchens head-to-head is just another reality show

Belief and scepticism deserve better champions than these two

The Evolution of God, By Robert Wright

Richard Dawkins' atheism has provoked a series of intelligent books about religion, from Marilynne Robinson's Absence of Mind and K aren Armstrong's The Case for God to this anthropological and philosophical enquiry by Robert Wright, an agnostic.

An ungodly row: Dawkins sues his disciple

Evolutionist's charity accuses protégé of stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds

Paul Vallely: Minorities do not have a pecking order

New figures about homosexuality are irrelevant: gender, race and faith groups deserve equal treatment, large or small

Howard Jacobson: Lost and alone amid the rubble

God for the God-needing is less about explaining how we got into this world and more about how to get through it now we’re here
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

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The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
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Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

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How to make a Lego masterpiece

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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam